Thursday, February 28, 2008

I'm Losing It

This morning, on the way to take Avery to school, I realized I had forgotten my cell phone. I looked in my purse to double check and even let Avery have a turn at looking. Nope. Not there. "Oh well," I told Avery,"It's probably just charging at home. No biggie." After all, I can live a day without my cell phone. It's not like I have to talk while I'm driving. In fact, I shouldn't, especially with my kids in the car. This is a good thing.
And then it starts to ring. Actually, I thought I heard it ringing at one point, but convinced myself that it was just the radio because I currently have "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash as my ring tone and it's hard to tell if it's my phone or just someone talking. Then, I heard the very distinctive "you have a message" tune. There is no mistaking that because it sounds very Oriental and I have nothing else that makes that sound.
So I check my purse again. Not there. I check the diaper bag. Nope. It's time for my Pilates class at the gym so I have to let it go for a bit. I have to force myself out of the car because my obsessive-compulsive nature wants to find the phone. NOW. I hate, absolutely HATE, to lose things. I have a spot for everything and it frustrates me to no end when it isn't there. But I let it go. It's always someone else's fault too, because I always put things where they go. (Does sarcasm show up on your computer?)
After class, I buckle Reese and Rhett into the car and begin my search. Glove compartment, under the seats, in the very back where the groceries go. In the kids' car seats, under the kids' car seats. Inside the doors, in the pockets on the back of the seats. EVERYWHERE. It isn't there. And then it rings again. I will go crazy if I don't find it. I can't tolerate hearing it ring and not being able to find it. I begin to sweat. And feel the irritation creeping.
I try to follow the ring and just as I get close, it stops. I see the box. The carboard, heavily taped package I'm about to take to the UPS store. Those dadgum kids. They've put the phone in the package and then I taped it. Now I have to rip it open. Dadgum kids.
I rip all the tape off the bottom of the box. I take everything out of the box and search every square inch of the box and it's contents. Not there.
I am losing it. I'm seriously losing it. I have to let it go. I have a day's worth of errands to run and two kids who are hungry. I have to go.
And it rings again. I'm driving and I can't search, but I feel like I might cry. Not because I'm sad I've lost my phone, but because I'm frustrated and the damn phone is taunting me!!!
I get to the store and take a deep breath. The store with kids is never easy and I'm already frustrated. Rhett starts to cry. He doesn't have his pacifier. It must have been dropped at the gym. Ohpleaseohpleaseohplease let me have one in my purse. I dig. And dig. And dig. It's not in any of the pockets. And then I see the outside pocket of my new snazzy purse. I forgot about that pocket. Maybe I stuck his paci in there. I reach in. No paci. But guess what?
Yep, the cell phone. I remember now, buying the purse and thinking "Oh, look at that handy little pocket on the side. That's just perfect for my cell phone because I won't have to dig when it rings." Dammit.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Sleeping Beauties

There is no real meaning behind this post (unlike all the others, which are chock-full of profound, deep sentiments) except that I love these pictures. There are two reasons I love to see pictures of my babies sleeping. One, they look precious while they are sleeping. So peaceful and sweet and quiet. Two, I have a level of insomnia that drives me crazy. I can be as exhausted as all-get-out (the only term that fits here, in my opinion), get into bed and lie there for hours, wide awake. So when I see my children sleeping peacefully, in positions and places that I could never fall asleep in, I can't help myself. I have to savor the moment.
For the record, Reese is the best sleeper in the house. She gets this from her daddy. They can both fall asleep anywhere, at anytime if they are tired enough. My husband has fallen asleep sitting up on the couch while we were entertaining guests. I'm not kidding. He can sleep. Reese can, too....

I cannot fathom being able to sleep like this. There is no fear, no worry. This amazes me. I could only fall asleep like this if someone forced me to wash down 3 or 4 Ambien with shots of Jack Daniels. Even the Vicodin/vodka mixture didn't inspire this kind of easy relaxation.

On Valentine's Day, after the sugar crash....

Ignore the fat lady in the middle. Look at these babies. Moments like these are few and far between, but they are my reason for waking up every morning. This is pure bliss.

Say it with me...."Awwwwww."

Monday, February 25, 2008

Conversations With Avery

If you currently have or ever have had a 4-year-old (excuse me, 4 and a half), these conversation notes will not come as any real surprise. However, since Avery is my first child, I am still rather shocked and amazed at the things that come out of her mouth. Some of these resulted in her getting in trouble and some of them just made me laugh. I'll let you decide which ones.

Avery: Mom, your ribbon thing is broken.
Me: I know. I'll have to ask Dad to fix it.
Avery: Dad can fix everything, can't he?
Me: Yeah, pretty much. He's a pretty good guy.
Avery: Yeah, he's pretty great. You should marry him.
Me: Well, honey, I did marry him.
Avery: Oh. Yeah. Well, you made a great choice, Mom.

Avery: Mom, why did we have to go to Pa Pa's to buy him a suit?
Me: Well, sometimes boys have a hard time picking out clothes and he just asked Momma to help him.
Avery: I think that's not a good idea, Mom. Pa Pa's house is so far and now I'm tired and he should just pick out his own clothes.
Me: We were being nice and helping him. He's getting married and he needs some help to get ready. And it's not that far. Going to Grammy's is much farther.
Avery: Now, I know that's not right, Mom. When we go to Grammy's, I just watch movies and I know Pa Pa's house is a lot farther.
Me: Pa Pa lives 2 hours away and Grammy lives 5 hours away. The difference is that I forgot to bring the DVD player, so you are bored.
Avery: (mumbling) I sure wish I had a mom who didn't forget so much stuff. Then I could be happy all the time.

Avery: Mom, can you make me eggs for breakfast?
Me: You don't like eggs.
Avery: I love eggs!
Me: You never eat them when I make them for you.
Avery: Well, if you will make them like they are at the mall on the playground (two, big plastic fried eggs) then I will like them. I like them when they are just white and those two yellow things.
Me: So you want fried eggs? And you'll eat every bite if I make them?
Avery: Oh yes, Momma, I will totally eat them because those are my favorite kind.
.....10 minutes later.....
Avery: Mom, I don't really like this kind of eggs.
Me: (Exasperated sigh) Good grief, Avery!
Avery: Well, you shouldn't have had three kids.
Me: What in the world does that have to do with anything?
Avery: If you didn't have so many kids, you wouldn't be frustrated. Three kids is hard work.

This next one occurred in the drive-through line at Arby's. We were there for literally 20 minutes. I'm not sure what the problem was, but we were all frustrated.
Avery: What in the world is taking so long?
Me: I have no idea. That same car has been up there for 10 minutes.
Avery: Just honk at 'em.
Me: I can't, Ave. That's rude.
Avery: Mom, you honk at people all the time when they are being bad drivers. Just honk at that guy because he's in the way too much.

That's all for now...but I'm sure, not forever!
Happy Monday!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Protect Thy Food

If you have siblings, you know this rule by heart. I, as the oldest of four, learned early on that if I wanted my share of the proverbial pie, I better be first in line. This is probably why I panic if I see my husband take 3 or 4 pieces of pizza. I'm afraid there won't be enough for me. My weight proves that I have never gone hungry, but it's a deep-seeded fear that arises frequently.
I'm beginning to notice this same fear in my children. Since Rhett has begun testing table food, and enjoys it immensely, my girls are slowly learning that, if they want to ensure that their food remains their food, they better either hide it or eat it. Quickly. Sometimes they forget. And Rhett lies in wait for the opportunity to strike.

Here he is after a particularly delicious find. Reese left a donut on her chair. Big mistake, Reesie.

Her loss is his gain. Look at his grin. He can't believe his good fortune. Chocolate donuts beat pureed carrots any day!

She has just realized her mistake. I know she's upset because any emotion other than sheer joy causes her to cram those fingers in and suck like there's no tomorrow. It's her happy place.

I don't think he realizes he has hurt his sisters' feelings. I think he would feel bad if he knew she was sad about losing her chocolate donut.
Although, I must admit, the way his eyes are darting about as he eats, constantly on the lookout for someone who would possibly confiscate the donut, makes me wonder if he doesn't know exactly what he has done.

The positive side of all of this....he will clean up every crumb. I always know that, if I give him enough time and freedom, the floor will be spic and span in no time.
P.S. For any of you middle children who are worried sick about Reese's emotional damage over this incident, rest assured.. She got another donut. And she kept it close to her until it was completely gone.

P.S. Again...I have so much trouble formatting when I add more than one picture. It drives me nuts and I dont know how to fix it. If you know how, please email me ASAP and tell me what in the heck I'm doing wrong!!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

My Husband

There are times my husband drives me crazy. He doesn't clean up after himself very well, he ignores me so he can play video games and he usually doesn't notice household chores to be done. In other words, he's a normal man.

But then, sometimes, he does something that makes me forget (almost) all of those things and I remember why I fell in love with him in the first place. The last time this happened was Valentine's Day.

We aren't big V-Day people. We barely even notice the day as far as our romantic relationship is concerned. But now we have kids. And I grew up getting Valentines from my parents and I want to continue that tradition. If my kids are like me, they will spend many adult years receiving Valentines ONLY from their parents, which leads to an amazing amount of bittersweet tears...but I digress. Back to the present.

And speaking of presents. I forgot them this year. Well, I didn't actually, totally forget, but I procrastinated. If I buy them too early, there's a chance they will be found. So I waited. Until the day before Valentine's Day, when I realized my husband was out of town and not coming back until the following day and I would have no time without children to buy Valentines. Crap. I failed again.

So I call my husband and ask him to pick up a little something for each of the kids. Now, I have to say, he loves to buy gifts for the kids. I knew he wouldn't mind, but I couldn't imagine what he would bring home. Not that it wouldn't be great - the kids would love it - but it probably wouldn't be what I would have picked. (I'm kind of a control freak) I figured he'd come home with enough candy to put them into a diabetic coma and possibly a stuffed animal either too big to keep in the house or covered with enough lace and possibly gold to keep me up at night planning on how to get it out of the house without hurting any feelings. I should have trusted my husband more. What he brought far surpassed any of my lame expectations.

Here is what he brought the girls.

Sure, what you see here is no big deal to you. A fuzzy bag with pencils, a little candy (not overboard at all), and a rose that plays a little song. Cute, right? What's the big deal, right?

Ok, let's look at the next picture. Look at all the goodies in the bag. Tiny paints, tiny notebooks, pencils and pens that light up. A few pieces of candy, but just the right amount. Precious stuff, right? But still, anyone can buy a bag of junk, right? What's the big deal, right?

Here's the big deal:
I had assumed that he just bought the bags full of stuff, as is. They were so perfectly proportioned with fun junk with a little candy mixed in, I thought it had to be commercially done. And the rose sticking out when he carried them in looked like something you would see in a store.
Then he handed me a sack and said "Here's all the leftover stuff." There were spare candies, pencils, and paint sets. I said "Did you buy all this stuff separately?"
"Yeah," he said. "I can't believe it, Babe. You picked all of this out and put it all together?" I asked. "I love it. You did so great, Honey. It's absolutely perfect." I told him.
His response made my heart melt. "Well, I knew you were upset that you forgot, so I went in and tried to imagine what you would do for them. I tried to pick out things that you would like and I knew you wouldn't pick all candy. I just tried to think of what Momma would do."
Oh. My. God. If the kids weren't in the room right now........
Seriously, though. All I could do was give him a huge hug and a kiss. I thought he would never be able to outdo last year's Valentine gift (the large capacity washer and dryer), but he did. He's a prince. A prince who leaves his underwear in the middle of the floor, but a prince, nonetheless.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Diary of a Bad Mommy (Volume 5)

Yesterday, my brother, Bo, had a coaches' meeting here in Dallas. It was a day trip, so I was his ride to and from the airport. I picked him up and took him to the hotel for his meeting and then came back home. The whole family went back to pick him up after his meeting so we could all go out to eat before he had to be back at the airport.
We went to a place called Snuffers for some cheese fries and other junk food. It's a bar too and they were offering draft beers for dirt cheap. Aaron and I decided to order one. We don't get out much and cheap beer is one of those things we get kind of excited about. I don't know if it was the frosty glass or the price, but it tasted yummy. Since Aaron was driving and only having one, I decided to order another. Two beers isn't a big deal, right?
Well, two beers isn't. And I didn't even get three drinks into the second one when disaster struck. I don't know why, but Rhett was squealing for something at his end of the table. I reached over to hand him another cracker and knocked my GLASS over. It shattered everywhere. Beer went all over my baby. Beer. On my baby. He was screaming and the waiters were all staring at us. I'm sure they were trying to decide which one of them would call Child Protective Services on the drunk lady in the back.
Now, Rhett is kind of a weenie about loud noises, and the crash was very loud. We were all a bit startled, so I assumed that he was screaming because it scared him. And his pants were soaked in beer. (Oh my gosh, did I just say my baby's pants were soaked in beer? Someone call Betty Ford.) I removed his pants and snuggled him for a bit while the waiters scrambled to clean all the glass off of the table and floor. He seemed fine. I set him back down in the freshly cleaned high chair and all was well.
He started to fuss a bit and I decided to get him out and walk around with him. And that's when I noticed the problem. Tiny cuts on his hands and knees. Little shards of glass had apparently either gotten through his pants or had been on the high chair when I put him back in.
So not only did I spill beer all over him, but my glass cut the poor little baby. I feel like the biggest dirtbag loser in the world. Especially for finishing the replacement beer the waiter brought me while Rhett sat in the highchair bleeding. Jeez. Could I be any worse?

Monday, February 18, 2008

He's Growing Up Too Fast!!!

Are you getting tired of posts about Rhett? Good, me either.

He just graduated to a big boy car seat. The girls didn't weigh enough for a toddler seat until they were a year old. The weight limit on an infant seat is 20 pounds. Rhett passed that before he was 6 months old. We have spent the last three months searching for the latches to Avery's old seat. You see, when we realized he weighed 21 pounds and therefore, needed to be moved to a bigger seat, we got Avery's seat out of the garage and took it apart to wash all the pieces. Apparently, Reese found the latches entertaining because when we went to put everything back together, two of the latch pieces were missing. She gets the blame because she is notorious for walking off with things and because she can't defend herself.

So, for three months, we have searched for the latch pieces. We were desperate not to have to buy a new $150 car seat when we had a perfectly good one in the garage. We even looked into buying a used seat and using the latches off of it. We cleaned the garage from top to bottom. We cleaned out all toy boxes and baskets. We have racked our brains for three months and then it hit me. CONTACT THE COMPANY AND ORDER NEW LATCHES. Duh. I'm not sure how someone as dumb as me has been allowed to drive around with children in the car, but that's the case. And look how precious Rhett looks in his big boy seat. He's happy. No more screaming and crying in the car. Well, except for me, when I realize all my babies are growing up and they are going to move out and I'll be all alone with no one to snuggle with. WWWHHHAAAAAAAAAAAA!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Story of the Broken Heart

In honor of Valentine's Day, I thought I'd share the "broken heart" conversation I had with Avery yesterday. We were baking cookies for her school Valentine party and one of the heart-shaped cookies broke. The conversation that followed had my laughing out loud, even though I was mildly depressed. (See yesterday's post.)

Avery: Momma, that heart broke! That means broken heart. Do you know what that is?

Me: Yes, do you?

Avery: Yes, it means your heart is broken because you didn't get what you wanted.

Me: How did you know that?

Avery: Mom, I always know that stuff, even when I was three.

Me: Well, you are basically right. It usually means that someone you really love or like didn't want to be your friend or something and it hurts your heart. Your heart doesn't really BREAK, it just feels sad inside so people say you have a broken heart.

Avery: I already know that, Mom. Can I eat that one since it was broken?

Me: Not now. We can maybe eat it if there are enough leftovers when I get finished.

Avery: Ok, I'm just going to give that broken one to Jacob (a boy at her school).

Me: Well, that's kind of mean. Why in the world would you want to give him a broken one?

Avery: It's not mean. It's normal. I want to give it to him.

Me: I doubt we'll give anyone the broken heart. I don't think that would make anyone happy.

Avery: Well, Mom, Jacob just broke my heart. I asked him to play with me on the slide and he said he didn't like to play with girls. And that just broke my heart inside me. So I want to give him the broken heart cookie to tell him that my heart is broken.

How can you argue with that kind of logic? I had to give her a whole cookie just for being smarter than I am.

I pity the poor fool who breaks her heart in high school. Broken cookies today, dog crap under his car door handles later.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I Will Not Be Happy

I will not be happy or think positive thoughts today. Even though I have many, many, MANY reasons to be thankful and happy with my own life, I won't admit it. Even though there are tons of people in the world who have so many terrible, sad things going on in their life, for today, my life is terrible. Do you want to know why? I'm going to tell you anyway.
First of all, my alarm was set for 5:30. I needed to run this morning because my husband is out of town tonight and I won't be able to go tomorrow. But since my allergies were so bad last night before bed, I took a Benadryl. Apparently, the reason it helps with allergies is because you slip into a coma and therefore, don't realize you have allergies. So no running outside. Which means treadmill. 45 minutes of mind-numbing wall-staring running. Ugh. Be thankful I am fortunate enough to have a treadmill when some people don't even have running shoes? Or that my legs work so that I even have the option to run? Not a chance. Not today anyway.
I have PMS.
Add to that, I have adult onset acne. Not diagnosed by a dermatologist, but by myself. For three months straight, I have had zits all over my nose, chin and cheeks. I look like a pubescent nerd. Oh, except for the reading glasses I had to buy so I could work on the computer. I look like a middle-aged, pubescent nerd. Is there such a thing? If there is, I'm it. There should be a LAW against having acne and reading glasses. If we have to get old and blind, for the love of Pete, we should at least get to have clear skin. There should always be trade-offs on this kind of thing. Like girls with flat chests are often thin and look good in spaghetti straps, whereas, big saggy-boobed girls like me don't really gain much weight in their butts and thighs. It's a trade-off. Someone needs to remind God that zits do not belong on the face of an old lady. Be thankful that I can afford to buy zit creme by the bucket? Not a chance. Not today.
I'm also potty-training Reese. Or trying. If I let her be naked, she will try to go in the potty. If I put panties on her, she will tee-tee in them IMMEDIATELY, even if she just got off the potty. Oh, yeah, did I mention the turds? Turds, apparently, only belong on the floor. That seems to be her belief, anyway. I'm tired of picking up turds. And washing pants. And I still have a third one to go through this with. Be thankful that I have three beautiful kids when some people can't even have one? Not a chance. Not today.
I thought I deserved a diet Coke break. Maybe even a mint-creme Oreo to go with it. Two sips into the Coke, I spot one of the stray turds. I get up to grab it before Rhett can get to it and Reese zeroes in on the diet Coke. Getting a drink of my Coke is fine if she asks. She didn't ask. But I was too busy looking for poop to really care. Until she knocked an entire diet Coke off onto the floor. And didn't pick it up. And didn't tell me that she spilled it. Or that Rhett was on the floor. Crawling in diet Coke. So much for a break. Be thankful that I can afford to buy diet Coke when some people have to beg for water? Not a chance. Not today.
Ok, so I really am thankful for all the good things in my life. But if it's all the same to you, I'm going to be grumpy today. And not say one positive thing to or about anyone. It's my blog and I'll cry if I want to.

Monday, February 11, 2008

I Am SUCH a Tool Sometimes

Sunday, I was at the hairdresser's getting a highlight and a cut. They usually have really strange music playing. Well, maybe not strange, but totally alternative and kind of hard for a beauty salon. But yesterday, I really enjoyed the CD they had going. It was more mellow than usual. An old song by Sting came on and I said to my hairdresser (who is older), "I love this song...this is a good CD today." She agreed and before I could say anything else, I overheard one of the younger hairdressers say, "Oh my gosh, who put this CD in? This is horrible. Why do we even own this? God, it's like old lady easy listening."
Yeah. That's me. I'm confessing my secrets now. I tell everyone that I love hip hop. And I do. But, truth be told, there is less hip hop and more old lady easy listening on my iPod right now. Think Kenny Loggins, Carly Simon, Johnny Cash, etc. I even have "Jolene" by Dolly Parton on there. So whatever, I like it. And I'm not ashamed anymore. I like loser old lady easy listening music. This is nothing new. Sunday's incident reminded me of a similar time when I was in college.
I had had a car accident (not my fault) and my car had to be in the shop for about a week. The other driver's insurance paid for everything, including a rental car. Which was a Ford Taurus STATION WAGON. Now, as a 21-year-old college junior, this was not my idea of a cool rental car. I was totally mortified to drive through Stillwater in this red, soccer-mom vehicle. But, as we all know, life goes on and I decided one day to brave the roads and run to Braums to get an ice cream cone. As I pulled out of Braum's, cone in hand, I scanned the radio for a good song. (I am, by the way, a perpetual scanner. I don't allow down time on the radio.) You know the song, "Still the One?" I have no idea who sings it, but it's old. 70s old. It's like "We're still having fun, and you're still the one..." Anyway, I like it. It's nerdy, but I like it. It hasn't been popular in my lifetime, but I still like it. So I turned it up. Did I mention that the windows were down? It was a nice spring day and the windows were down. And I had the song turned up. And I was singing. And tapping my thumb on the steering wheel and licking an ice cream cone. At a stop light. Where I happened to glimpse a boy in the car to my right. I turned to look. Two cute boys. In a nice car. Looking at me. Oh yeah, I'm hot, boys. Young, single and ready to mingle. That's right, follow me.
Then it hit me. Young, decent looking girl. In a red station wagon. Eating ice cream. YELLING 70s music along with the way-too-loud radio. They weren't looking because they were interested. In fact, I feel sure they were just soaking up the whole situation so they could laugh hysterically at me when they drove off. And they did drive off when the light turned green. FAST. Yep. I'm a tool.

My Main Man

Have I mentioned that I love this little dude? I fell more in love with him this weekend as he said what sounded to me like his first word..."Ma Ma Ma Ma Ma." That counts as saying "Mama" right? I thought so. To commemorate the occasion, I've compiled some of my more recent pictures of my little man. Enjoy!

I love that he knows he owns this bed. I can put him in his own bed all I want to, but we all know that, at some point during the night, he'll end up here.

I love him when he's cleaning up his sisters' cereal off of the floor. (As cute as any dog and smells much better!)

I love it when he's "Big Pimpin'" in the hot tub. (Auntie Em's sink.)

I love him when he's snotty, and that's a good thing because he's ALWAYS snotty!

I love, love, LOVE these little meat pie feet. Can't keep my hands (and lips) off of them. LOVE THEM.

I love how he holds his mouth open between bites so he doesn't miss a thing.

I love that, even when Aunt La-La picked him up for a snuggle break, he kept his mouth open just in case the food was coming.

I love it when he cuddles with his big sisters. They watch TV, he watches me.

I love it (and hate it) when he gets into his sisters' marker stash under the cabinet. I gotta get a lock for that thing. Or move them to a higher spot. Duh.

Ok, so it's a bit much. I know this, but I also know that, one of these days way too soon, he'll be a big old boy who will no longer plead for me to hold him. Instead of patting my shoulder while I rock him, he'll squirm and beg to be "let go!" He will no longer fight to get into my bed at night. Instead of being content to lay quietly at my side, rubbing my arm and giving me slobbery kisses, he'll want to wrestle with anyone other than his mom. He'll shun my hugs and kisses in front of his friends and he'll smell like a wet dog 90% of the time. And then he'll move away and marry some girl and she'll get all his snuggles and kisses, so if I want to be an obsessed weirdo about my boy for a while, I will.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Morning Runs

I loooooooove to run in the morning. I love it. Especially when it's cold outside. I know most people hate running in cold weather, and use it as an excuse to stay in, but not me. I love to walk outside my warm, cozy house and feel the biting breeze on my face. I like knowing that, no matter how icy the air feels running down the back of my jacket, that after the first mile, I'll need to remove the jacket to keep from getting too hot. Love it.
Why don't I do this every day, you ask? Oh, that's easy. I'm a lazy bum. I have to get up by 5:30 in order to be on the road by 6 in order to be home by 6:45 so my husband can leave for work. And that's really early. Nevermind that, 9 years ago, I was up by 4:15 every day to get all my mileage in before work. Or that I have all dadgum day to recoup from an early morning run. I've just gotten lazy. But last night, I decided the laziness had to stop. I hate laziness and I don't want to be it anymore.
So I got up this morning. And it was wonderful. Except for the lady who snuck up behind me just as I was transitioning from walk to run. I guess she didn't really sneak, but she didn't notify me ahead of time that she would also be running on my street this morning, so I was surprised to see a person when I turned around in sheer paranoia, ready to use my key as a weapon at any time. I screamed a bit, and she apologized. "You should apologize, lady. You scared the bejeezus out of me. Who do you think you are, running on my street at the same time as me? Sheesh. Be more considerate." That's what I told her. Really. Ok, not really. I said "Oh hi, how are you this morning? I'm a little nervous in the dark. Hee hee."
Oh and then there was the dog. Now, this was a tad bit humiliating if anyone was watching. And if they weren't watching, they can read about it here. First of all, if you are reading this (as if my whole neighborhood is tuned in...."what will she say next?") and you are the one who let your wolf/dog out this morning with no leash and no supervision, I am very angry. It takes alot for me, one who has birthed three children, to hold in tee-tee while I'm jogging and your big-ass dog running up to me out of nowhere doesn't help matters one bit.
Ok, back to the dog. It probably wasn't a wolf, but that's what I thought at first. It was probably a German Shepherd. Or something. I don't know a thing about dogs and honestly don't care too. All I know is that it wasn't a weenie dog or Yorkie or something I could defend myself against. It was big enough to put its nose in my crotch while I slowed to a brisk walk (never run away from a will hunt you down and kill you, assuming you are it's prey, running to save your life. This is fact, people.), pretending not to be scared and trying to act as though I was in control of this whole situation. I wasn't. I was terrified. Seriously. I began to jab my key/weapon, placed strategically in that self defense position between two fingers. I yelled, "NO! Go home! Get out of here." And then, as if I didn't already look completely ridiculous, I began to yell toward the house from which this wolfly beast had run. "Hey! If this is your dog, you need to get it. Hello? Somebody? Please get this dog. I don't like dogs. I'm afraid of dogs, so get it." It's 6 a.m., remember? There are no lights on in that house. A light did, however, come on in the house next to where I was standing, so at least someone heard me.
No one came to rescue me. I continued to spin-walk, alternating between the key-jab and yelling at the dog to go home and leave me alone. He followed me for an entire block before he stopped in the road, glaring at me as if to say, "This is my turf, Fatty...don't come back again." Don't worry, Cujo. I won't.
I began to run again and all was well. My Kleenex blew out of my pocket and I ran after all three of them, but no one was watching. I checked.
I ran the entire 3 miles I had scheduled. Well, except for the dog incident, but that wasn't my fault. And then, when I hit my street, I began the cool down. I slowed to a brisk walk and began stretching my arms overhead. I felt amazing. And then, something really embarrassing happened. You know how, sometimes, when you run or workout kind of hard, it sort of "works out the kinks" in your body? Sometimes, you have to race to the potty...lucky for me, I just had a bit of gas. Loud gas. No biggie, right? I'm alone outside. Oh. And the little Chinese man who lives down the street and likes to sit on his porch in the early morning and enjoy his hot tea or coffee or whatever. At any rate, he got more than he bargained for this morning. I imagine him meditating quietly, getting ready for his day and watching his tiny puppy poop in the yard. His morning is serene and calm. Until the chubby lady from down the street comes roaring around the corner, farting as loudly as a Hell's Angels motorcycle. Sorry, Dude. I'm a runner. I gotta be me.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Oops! She Did It Again

Remember this? It's Reese, locked in the toy closet. That one was my fault. I didn't know she was in there when I shut the door, and she was so quiet, it took me a while to find her.
Well, she did it again. This time it was all her own doing. We were at Josh and Emily's last weekend, visiting family. There were at least 20 people there, including about 6 kids. This kind of commotion makes Reese nervous, to say the least. She usually finds refuge in her daddy, who sits quietly on the outside of the chaos, staying as far away from socializing as he can. But this time, he had to leave to do some work at Mom's, so Reese was stuck with me. I like to visit and be involved in all the chaos. I forget that everyone doesn't enjoy this. I assumed that Reese would love playing with all those kids, and therefore, didn't pay much attention to her. She was with her big sister, after all, so no worries. Right? Right. Until Big Sister runs through the living room two or three times and I don't see Reese. "Avery, where is Reese?" I ask. "I don't know. I haven't seen her," Avery replies as she sails past me, chased by at least three boys bigger than her.
No biggie. She's probably with Macy, her almost-2-year-old cousin. Nope. No Reese in Macy's room. In JD's room with some of the younger kids? Nope.
Ok, I'm starting to worry. I call Aaron to see if she went back to Grammy's with him. No, he hasn't seen her. I think he's joking. He's not.
I start to panic. And the panic catches on. At least 4 people, who were supposed to be in mourning and enjoying fellowship with their family, disperse throughout the house yelling for Reese. A few of the men go outside to yell for her. Some of them have no idea who she even is, but they are helping. Some of them probably don't know me, but they are helping. I'm mortified at the disruption I am causing, but mostly I'm worried sick about where Reese could be. I go outside and look in the street first. I pray she isn't there, because I'm afraid my legs won't move if I see her walking on a shoulder-less road where cars whiz by way too fast. She isn't there. I relax a bit, because, as long as she isn't in the street, she is probably ok. But I imagine she is scared. I picture her, wandering out in the yard, looking for her daddy and sucking her fingers and crying.
This scenario goes on for what seems like 2 hours, but was probably more like three or four minutes. Finally, Josh comes in, holding Reese. "I found her!" he exclaims. She looks fairly proud of herself, although it's hard to tell when her mouth is full of fingers. Josh explains, "She was in my closet...I've been in there 10 times, but never saw her or heard her. Then I saw something move under some of my pants and saw her feet."
That little toot. She did it on purpose. I'm sure all the people made her nervous and she needed some alone time. Or she just felt like messing with me. Who knows?
Sheesh, What won't a middle child do for a little attention? It makes my eyelids twitch to think of how not prepared for this parenting gig I really am.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Weekend

It is a terribly sad event when someone you love dies. It is one of the hardest things we ever have to deal with in life. However, I have to say, I actually kind of enjoy the time surrounding the funeral. I hope that's not disrespectful, because I definitely would rather everyone live forever and skip funerals altogether. In fact, I guess it's not technically the funeral, but the days between the death and the funeral. I love how family and friends come together in love and support for one another. I love that the days are a blurry haze of time. You sleep somewhere else, but the days are spent in fellowship with the surviving members of the family.
This past weekend was no different. Josh and Emily were the host house for all the food and fellowship. This just happens to be next door to my mother, so my kids and I were back and forth all weekend. And what could have been such a sad, depressing time was really pretty wonderful. Karla has such a dear, sweet family and they have a strong faith in the Lord, so they were very uplifting. They are also the type of family that welcomes you with open arms as if you were one of their own. It's as if they are saying, "Karla loved you, so we love you too." It was a wonderful, positive group to be in this weekend. Not to mention the food. Good grief, I've never seen so much food in my life. There were casseroles, soups, meat trays, sandwich trays, chips. And the desserts. Oh my gosh. When was the last time you had lemon meringue pie for dessert? Followed by chocolate pie? And then a sliver of a cherry dump cake with just a smidge of a chocolate-y gooey cookie-ish brownie like thingy? Yeah, that's how I ate all weekend. I'm gaining weight just remembering all the food. It was delightful.
Oh, and the fun...we had so much fun. Saturday, my brother Josh, his brother-in-law, Derrick and I took all the kids to the park. There were several, as you can imagine, so we piled them all into the back of Josh's truck (small town Oklahoma, remember?) and hauled them to the park.
I just went along to watch Reese because I was afraid she was too little to go with all those bigger kids. Turns out, I had a better time than she did. There was still quite a bit of snow on the ground from last week's blizzard. What happens when you have 10 or 12 kids and a whole park full of snow? SNOWBALL FIGHT!!!
I had no intention of being in the fight, because, as I pointed out, I was only there to watch my baby girl. Well, there is a precious girl of about 12, Katie, in Karla's extended family who has an ornery streak to say the least. I was standing, minding my own business, watching Reese play and watching Josh and Derrick vs. The Kids in a minor snowball fight. And then it happened. That little punk, Katie, HIT ME! In the neck. With a huge snowball. I could have been an adult about it and asked her to politely leave me out of it. Do you think that is what I did? If you do, then you don't know me at all.
Heck no, I nailed her with a tightly rolled snowball right in the back of the head. And that was the beginning of the end. I had snow down my neck, down my pants, in my ear, in my shoes. I was soaked. And freezing. And laughing so hysterically hard, that my chest hurt all day from the cold air. It was awesome. I haven't had that much fun in years. I run for exercise quite often, but this is different. This is the kind of sprinting and stopping and running and chasing that you seldom do after the age of 12. And that's sad. Because if there's anything that gets your mood elevated, your blood pumping, and your muscles aching, it's a snowball fight.
That is my favorite thing about the time surrounding a funeral. The unplanned flashes of fun family togetherness that are so rare. (Maybe the food just a little bit, too.)

Sunday, February 3, 2008


In case there is anyone out there reading who is wondering why I haven't posted....
I'm at home. P-town home. For another funeral. This is one of the saddest ones I've ever had to come home for. My sweet sister-in-law, Emily, whom I love as if she were my very own sister, has had a horrible thing happen. She and her two sisters, who are also like family to me, lost their mother last week. She was sick, so it's not exactly unexpected, but I don't know if anyone is ever prepared for a loss of this magnitude. Their mother was everything to them. The four of them were as close as any mother and daughters could be. It's a very hard thing to see people you love go through something so sad.
I know life goes on, but right now, up here, life is a little bit hard. I can't pretend that I understand how those girls feel, but my heart breaks every time I think about it. And I just feel such a sadness for them, that I need to take a break from silly little antecdotes about my silly little life. I'll be back in full force soon, but am taking a break for a bit. Send happy thoughts this way!